CARSON, Calif. – The match up -- LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo -- and the location -- The Home Depot Center -- may be the same for the 2012 MLS Cup. But this isn’t the 2011 Houston Dynamo.
Gone is a team that relied on physical play in the box and devastating set pieces from midfield Brad Davis, only to be replaced by a team with a number of intriguing attacking dimensions. Whether it’s the success of forward Will Bruin, who has scored four goals this postseason or the return of tenacious midfielder Ricardo Clark, the Dynamo promise a serious challenge for the Galaxy.
But perhaps the biggest x-factor of all is Honduran Designated Player Boniek Garcia, who has shined in his first season in Houston making 22 appearances in regular season and postseason matches. During that time, the two-way midfielder has scored five goals along with seven assists.
Ahead of a week of preparation for Dec. 1’s MLS Cup, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena cautions that Garcia is just one of Houston’s many dangers.
“Boniek Garcia has arguably been their best player this year, not that there isn’t an argument for Brad Davis, Will Bruin and many others. Ricardo Clark as well, who has joined their team midyear,” said Arena. “But Garcia gives them a different dimension, a player that can run with the ball. Bruin is a goal scorer that plays in the penalty area on a full time basis.”
“Davis is Davis, a great passer of the ball on the run of play as well as on set pieces and they’ve gotten good play out of their back line and goalkeeper,” Arena added. “I think that Bobby Boswell in the D.C. series was outstanding so I think that they’re bringing a complete team in here for the MLS Cup for sure.”